USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced a new a pilot insurance program for table and oil olives in 12 California counties, beginning with the 2012 crop year. The sales closing date is Jan. 31, 2012.

The pilot Olive Crop Insurance Program is an Actual Production History product that insures a grower's yield. The two-year, production-based policy features a new approach for addressing alternate bearing commodities like olives, where production can vary significantly with years of low production, or "off" years, typically followed by years of high production, or "on" years.

The program will be available in Tulare, Tehama, Glenn, Madera, Fresno, Butte, Kern, San Joaquin, Shasta, and Colusa counties for table olives and in Tulare, Tehama, Glenn, Madera, Fresno, Butte, San Joaquin, Colusa, Yolo, and Sutter counties for oil olives. Coverage levels from the catastrophic level to 75 percent are available.

Producers elect a coverage level and price election percentage that remains in effect for the two-year life of the policy. Because production is reported annually, however, the approved yield is recalculated, adjusting to account for cases where the unit is expected to be either "on or off" for the following year. Any losses incurred will be indemnified on a year-to-year basis. RMA has published the pilot Olive Crop Insurance Program provisions and related documentation on its website at www.rma.usda.gov.

The plan was approved in September 2011 under procedures allowing private submitters to present proposed insurance plans directly to the Federal Crop Insurance Corporation Board of Directors for consideration as insurance products. The Olive Growers Council of California and AgriLogic Inc. submitted the plan.